“We all get knocked down in life. We must never stay down. Find the grace to rise up. You have the chance to start again.”
― Lailah Gifty Akita
I am blessed. I can not tell you how blessed I am.
Satan came and knocked me in the back of the knees. I collapsed to the ground. I fell prey to worldly pressures, expectations, perfectionism, and so many other idols aside from the Lord, Jesus Christ. For years I was drowning, unable to breathe, suffering silently without even knowing what was truly wrong in my life.
I got knocked down…not just tripped, but shoved to the dirt with brute force, the air knocked out of my lungs, tears streaming as my knees turned bloody from the impact. But here I am today. Here I am, living life more fully than I would have ever imagined was possible 1.5-2 years ago. I never wanted any of this. But I got it. And I am so thankful that I did.
I could make a list a mile long about all the blessings that grew from the rumble of the past 2 years. But, for the sake of my own sanity, and due to the lack of tissues left in the tissue box, I will only list a couple…
1. I met MANY amazing, AMAZING people. One of my very best friends now is an individual whom I met in the deepest depths of despair and we fought side by side against our own individual demons. We’ll be friends forever. The other individual that comes to mind is my therapist that has walked (let’s be honest – crawled) through the past 2 years with me, never giving up on me and most importantly, encouraging me through bible scripture and words of God’s truth…helping me to strengthen my own faith and seek to find my identity in Christ.
2. I found that I have an amazing church family – congregation, ministers, choir, every last bit of it! They have lifted me up, prayed for me, and always encouraged me. I stepped out of my comfort zone in asking for help and the response was overwhelming love and acceptance.
But by far the biggest blessing of all…
God came and swept me up into His arms when I was just about to give up. He showed me His grace and gave me the strength to get through one day at a time, until all of the sudden…a month had passed, then 2, then 6, etc. God gave me the chance to start again. And that chance didn’t just begin when I entered treatment January 30, 2014. That chance has presented itself over and over again hundreds of times – the most monumental being that I am headed off to the Unviersity Of Michigan, School of music, theater, and dance in just a few short months. I am starting all over again – God is giving me another chance to follow his calling for me and pursue my dreams. This time, I’m going to do it right. NOT PERFECTLY, but right. There’s one way to do it “right” and it’s not by making good grades, performing well, excelling in every single thing, etc. The “right” way to pursue God’s calling for me is to:
1. Pray without ceasing
2. Do everything with LOVE
3. Show kindness and compassion to everyone I meet
4. Be ME – because I AM ENOUGH.
There will be battles, undoubtedly. It’s likely that for the 1st month or so, those battles will be daily. But they definitely don’t have to define me. Nor do my grades, weight, or musical accomplishments. God’s love (which is endless and perfect) is the only thing that defines me.
God’s grace is by far the biggest blessing I have EVER experienced in my life and the best part is that I get to experience it every minute of every day.
I’m scared, nervous, insecure, thrilled, excited, and so many more things, in regard to my future. But there is one thing that, unlike feelings, is unchanging, unwavering, and of which I am completely 100% sure of: God loves me. He sees me as beautiful. He will never leave me or forsake me. And “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13